ROUND FORCE
Golf Monthly|December 2020
When Steve Bate discovered that his son had contemplated suicide, he set off to raise £10,000 by playing a lot of golf
Mark Townsend
It’s been lashing it down all morning, but that doesn’t bother Headingley member Steve Bate. It’s his birthday and the 48-year-old is set to play his 366th and final round in less than a year. He’s played in far worse, including three named storms, and the shorts and smile are both on show.

“Part of my preparation was to play through a hurricane at St Annes Old Links last October,” Bate says. “I’ve stood here looking over the clubhouse to the east and waiting for the sun to come up. I’d hit a 7-iron, somehow find it and then the light would come and I’d be away.

“I’ve had three sets of multiple blisters, numerous calluses and the usual niggles. When the weather turns it’s always on the 7th, the furthest from the clubhouse, and you might be the only person out there, but this challenge is much bigger than me.”

The reason behind all this stems from a life-changing moment in 2018 when his 12-year-old son, Seb, came home from school and explained he was feeling suicidal. There were signs, but nothing on this scale and Bate and his wife, Natasha, were put in touch with the Oakdale Centre in Harrogate through their son’s school.

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